Linda Sarver
DESIGNER shows you a few of my scenographic designs, costume renderings, production photos, a statement of my design philosophy, and my resumé.
AUTHOR takes you to the covers of the books I’ve written and the magazines in which I’ve published articles, and the prompts will lead you to selected pages. At the top of the screen, on the left, just click on the link that says Books or Articles.
EDUCATOR opens to a narrative about my career, and you’ll find my curriculum vita as well as a short statement about my approach to teaching.
DRAMATURG tells you the theatres and the nearly 70 plays for which I’ve been dramaturg.
CONTACT will help you locate me — and I hope you will.

            I decided to be a teacher while I was an undergraduate at Drake University.  I have always been a successful student, and I found that I enjoy the academic life and that I have a gift for sharing with others the fruits of my learning and experience.  Many years later, I am happy with the choice I made because I have had rich rewards from the successes of the students I’ve taught, and because my academic career has permitted me travel, to continue to learn, and to maintain a concurrent career as a professional designer.  (My work as a scenographer and costume designer is described under “Designer” – browse over there for more information.)

            My academic c.v. lists the details of my career – from valedictorian in high school, through undergraduate and graduate schools, internships with the Guthrie Theatre and the Indiana Rep, master classes with Desmond Heeley and Pamela Howard, designing for commercial and not-for-profit theatre, as well as work in the film and television industry, and on through my faculty positions at Marquette University, Florida State University (where I administered the  graduate and undergraduate programs in costume design) to the University of Utah where I was head of all the design programs as well as Resident Costume Designer for the Pioneer Theatre Company.  It also lists my publications, design resumé, the honors and awards I have received, and the service I have provided to the profession and to my universities.

            I have taught every level of studio course from beginning classes for non-majors through supervising MFA theses and mentoring students’ final design projects. In addition,  I greatly enjoy teaching substantive lecture courses supported with projected images such as period styles (the  history of architecture, ornament, interior design, and furniture) and the history of civil dress and theatrical costume.  My extensive travels have provided me with personal experiences and an extensive collection of artifacts and images that enrich and personalize my teaching of these classes.   Further, I have developed four courses of which I am particularly proud. 

  • Introduction to the Visual Arts of Theatre is a large-enrollment, general education course that serves the non-major (and meets a graduation requirement).  It guides students to understand and enjoy a theatrical performance by analyzing what they see:  the visual communication of scenery, costume, lighting, and stage movement.  I wrote a short text book for this course.
  • Beginning Costume Design is a course for students who have no art skills and no expectation of pursuing design as an academic major or a career choice.  The course is aimed at general university students in addition to beginning Theatre majors from non-design areas.  It offers them a methodology for researching, analyzing and interpreting a play; it introduces them to the procedures for organizing, administering, and implementing a design; it prepares them to work collaboratively with others; and it guides them to an alternative to drawing for creating their final project:  the realization of a design.  Some students who successfully completed the course went on to design costumes for plays produced by their university’s theatre department.
  • Seminar in Great Designers is a course for graduate students and advanced undergraduates that guides them to learn the lives, works, aesthetics, and influence of key designers:  from Oliver Messell and Robert Edmond Jones, through Motley and Jo Mielziner, to Richard Hudson, Pamela Howard, and George Tsypin. 
  • Collaboration is a seminal course for graduate students in directing and all four areas of design.  It is team-taught by instructors of directing, scene, costume, lighting, and sound  design, and it provides a methodology for researching, analyzing, and collaborating in the creation of a theatrical production concept.  Students are divided into teams, and the course culminates in the formal presentation of their project to a virtual producer or virtual cast at the  first day of rehearsal. It includes the director’s presentation, the costume designer’s renderings, the scene designer’s model and/or rendering, the lighting designer’s storyboards, and the sound  designer’s audio presentation.  This course is the foundation for the students’ further study and laboratory experience in their respective disciplines, and it prepares them for a capstone thesis project – as well as for life after graduate school.

            For the past decade, since participating in Pamela Howard’s European Scenography Centre’s course in London, I have inflected my teaching and my own design work towards scenography.  I believe  a holistic approach to design is ideal, and I want to use Pamela’s inspirational book What is Scenography? as the starting place for creating an innovative curriculum and program for students of design.

            When my husband retired (he’s 18 years my senior), I resigned my faculty position so I could  accompany him to live in Cairo for two years.  In the past couple of years, since my return to the States, I have been free-lancing and traveling, and now I look forward eagerly to returning to my first true love:  teaching.